By: Meryum Hayat, SYLC Peace Semester 2016 Participant
We live in a society where ignoring the underprivileged has become a common norm. We are often so engaged in our own bubble of life that we just inconsiderately dismiss the social issues surrounding us, as long as they do not have a direct negative impact on us.
I believe that it is obligatory for us to step out of our comfort zone and do what we can to eradicate all sorts of social injustice. We should aim to bring about change because the future of Pakistan is in our hands, and if we want to see a more prosperous future, we need to be the change we wish to see in our country.
I believe that by being socially aware of the issues enveloping us, it is essential for us to play our part in the society by at least offering a helping hand to those in need through different ways. One should possess a certain degree of benevolence, which can even be easily generated by a mere smile. Even the Prophet (pbuh) declared that smiling is a form of charity, so why not extend our hand out to those who will willingly hold it? It is difficult to dodge the fact that by sacrificing our time to provide some sort of charity, we also gain a sense of inner-peace.
The assistance of a helping hand to those in need can have such a meaningful effect on their life that it is sometimes even beyond our thoughts to imagine it. Providing a helping hand to the underprivileged does not only have an irrefutable positive effect on them, but on us as well. It was not until I had worked with SYLC that I realized how apparently small efforts can bring profound delight and joy in the lives of the kids for whom everyday life does not hold much color and promise. Seeing their positive response to our efforts, their eyes light up from happiness, the warmth that we felt in our hearts undoubtedly held more worth than any other worldly matter. For them, everything seemed to contain some bizarre and extraordinary meaning and they grasped the positive effect of what was communicated to them. All this made us realize that even those things, which have no imperative meaning for us, can indeed change lives if one looks at that same thing in a less negative manner.
Living in a country where only the elite has sufficient power, people from financially struggling backgrounds and minorities are easily being overruled and deprived of their basic rights, like education. It is vital for us that instead of following in their footsteps, we not only receive knowledge, but also provide it to those who are deprived of this, without any boundaries between us. In conclusion, reaching out can come in many ways: from providing charity to knowledge, all come under the heading of ‘reaching out’ to those in need!